The South Lebanon Water Establishment (SLWE), in collaboration with Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, initiated a new endeavor to secure water for everyone in the south by 2025. A first-of-its-kind, that strategy will be implemented in a 5-year program and is called "South Lebanon Water Establishment 2020-2025."
On that occasion, a ceremony was held at the auditorium of Issam Fares Institue of the American University of Beirut (AUB), in the presence of the directors of the Water Establishments of the South, the Beqaa and North Lebanon. A number of officials attended the event, including representatives of donors and organizations, international NGOs, and a number of specialists and students interested in the water sector.
The ceremony included a presentation of the new strategy and an open discussion with the audience. Operational challenges and opportunities were also examined and discussed, which turned the conference into a knowledge-sharing platform for the audience.
In his opening speech, the director of South Lebanon Water Establishment, Wassim Daher, said that "Our humble vision is water for everyone in the South within five years". He emphasized how this strategy will be implemented to ensure the availability and sustainability of water and sanitation to all.
Daher explained that the strategy includes a focal point which is to ensure consistent water supply by shifting reliance from groundwater to surface water. "This is a survival factor for the establishment. Surface water runs mostly from rivers and springs but only 40 to 50 percent is being utilized in the south," he said.
Daher also confirmed that if the challenges and goals highlighted in the strategy were met, "we can provide 24/7 water."
The collaboration between the South Lebanon Water Establishment (SLWE) and Issam Fares Institute (IFI) comes from their mutual efforts to improve water services in Lebanon while ensuring the protection of water bodies.
Their latest partnership was a water security analysis for the SLWE, conducted by the Climate Change and Environment Program at IFI as part of the USAID funded Lebanon Water Project 2015-2020.